Broil King is the best and it didn’t fail our Tomahawk steak.
We partnered with Broil King two years ago for the first time. I’ve used barbecues from other brands before, but nothing quite like our new BARON™ 590. This barbecue is well built, it retains heat like I’ve never seen before, and grilling is consistent across the entire cooking surface.
… and they’ve nailed it again with their Baron Pellet 400 Smoker and Grill
Fast forward two years. We’re so thrilled to partner, once again, with our friends at Broil King. When Ben (Culinary Director at Broil King) asked if I’d be interested in trying out the Baron Pellet Smoker and Grill, it took me a whopping 6 seconds to reply with a yes. 😂
I mean, you just can’t go wrong with a unit that cooks with wood, smokes, and can reach really high heat for things like searing and pizza-making.
Going big with my Baron Pellet Smoker and Grill
I wanted our first meal from this pellet smoker and grill to be epic. I chose a Tomahawk steak.
The smoker/grill can reach incredibly high temperatures and cook perfectly with an amazing smokiness that is so inviting. It reminds me of sitting around a campfire at a cottage, by the lake. There’s nothing wrong with that feeling.
I did a reverse-sear for this steak. That is to say, I first slow-cooked the meat to a perfect internal temperature, then seared the meat at the end to trap in its juices and get that beautiful colour and caramelization on the surface.
I think it’s safe to say this was epic… I mean, EPIC!
What’s a Tomahawk steak?
A tomahawk steak is a thick and tender beef ribeye, connected to a long bone. It’s called a Tomahawk because the steak with the long bone looks like an axe. This steak is also known as a cowboy steak. Liz called it a Flintstone’s steak.
The steak is pretty expensive, but when you consider that one steak can feed several people, you realize that it’s really not unreasonable. It was plenty for our family, and we’ve spent a lot more than that when we’ve gone out to a steakhouse restaurant for dinner, so it was well worth it.
In this post, I’ll share some tips to help you successfully grill a steak like this, to perfection.
Why do I need to bring steak to room temperature?
This step is so important because it evens out the temperature throughout the steak. If the outside of the steak is warmer than the centre, the steak won’t cook evenly. You don’t need to be concerned about salmonella growth like you do with chicken. For small steaks, you can achieve this by leaving it out on the counter for about 30 minutes. For a steak this size (Tomahawk), leave it out for about 60 minutes.
How do you like your steak done?
Growing up, I ate steak grilled by my dad. I think you can call it cardboard-style doneness. I love my dad, but he really didn’t get the concept of a properly cooked steak. 😂 Any red on the meat was unthinkable. Even a little pink was a definite no-no for my dad.
When I became a young adult–a student living on my own, I moved onto medium-well. I almost felt uncomfortable if I saw a tinge of red–it’s not how steak was supposed to be eaten (so I thought). At this stage, I was doing a little cooking on my own, but I wasn’t learning much about technique, and I still hadn’t experienced great steak yet (student life meant I couldn’t afford steakhouse dinners). What I did realize was that steak didn’t have to taste like cardboard.
Older and wiser
Just a few years later, Liz and I won a contest at work–theatre tickets to see Lion King on stage, and a dinner out. We decided to visit a steak house in Toronto, called Bardi’s Steak House. Oh my goodness! That dinner was life changing for us in terms of how we would eat steak, going forward. It was here that Liz and I experienced our first steaks grilled to medium.
At first, when Liz saw red, she considered returning the steak, but she said the dish smelled so amazing that she’d close her eyes and try to forget what she had seen. I know…we were really adventurous, right. Well…one bite, and she was sold. She ate that meal with eyes wide open, and loved it. I remember my first bite too. I realized, then, what I’d been missing all these years. We still talk about that meal, 20 years later.
Medium has been my preferred doneness since that dinner, but more recently, our older son has me just about convinced that medium-rare is the way to go. Lately, I’ve prepared steaks both ways and I have to say, medium-rare is working for me. Liz can eat it medium-rare, but still prefers it medium. Maybe it’s about trying to be like his bigger brother, but even our little guy is enjoying the new doneness.
The most tender
The more more you cook a steak, the tougher and dryer it gets. Assuming you’re using quality meat, cooking to medium and medium-rare will give you a more tender and juicier steak.
Of course, the doneness is always personal preference. Enjoy it your way. Just don’t be afraid to at least try it less well-done if that’s the way you’ve always had steak in the past. Taste the difference for yourself.
Why do I need to rest a steak?
This is another important step you absolutely can’t forget! I know it’s tempting to cut right into that perfect looking steak, but please pause… you’ll thank me for this bit of advice.
When you cut into a steak right after cooking it, you’ll see a ton of juices pour out of the meat onto your cutting board. Those juices could have stayed in your steak if you rested it. When you rest a steak, the juices redistribute throughout the meat and you’ll get all the magical juices in each bite.
Give your steak about a 10-minute break (covered with tented foil wrap…or not). Patience is a virtue and you’ll be rewarded with a juicier steak.
Cut your steak against the grain
When your steak is rested and you’re finally ready to dig in, make sure to cut it against the grain. You’ll notice the meat just pulls apart so much better. If you were to cut along the grain, the same steak would be tougher to cut and chew. And heck… if you’ve cared enough to create a beautiful steak to this point, keep the magic alive and cut for the most tender bites.
Stay home and go big
I know the saying is, “Go big or go home”, but during this unprecedented time in our history, when we’re following the guidance to stay home and stay safe, we’ve discovered a renewed energy from slowing down and just being home. We’re rushing around less, spending less money, walking more, spending quality time with our kids, and enjoying more meals together at the dinner table.
I’ve had a great time cooking everyday and trying variations so we don’t repeat too much and end up with flavour fatigue. I’ve also enjoyed challenging myself not to let anything go to waste. Sometimes that means turning leftovers into something new or mixing veggies together to create an ‘everything but the kitchen-sink’ soup.
Meals at home everyday also means I’m grilling often. I’ve had a great time using my new Broil King Baron Pellet Smoker and Grill for everything from pizza on a pizza stone, shrimp in a cast-iron pan, to this beautiful and Flintstone-sized Tomahawk steak on the grill. While we’re going through a lot of groceries each week, in the end, we’re saving a lot by eating well, at home. So, I guess you can go big…at home.
Stay safe friends and make today yummy.
Smoked and seared Tomahawk steak on a pellet grill
- 3 lbs tomahawk ribeye steak (1 unit)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- Use your favourite pellet grill. For this recipe, we used the Baron Pellet Grill 400.
- Remove the tomahawk steak from the fridge and place it on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix together all the spices.
- Sprinkle the mixed spices over both sides, and edges of the steak. Pat the spices into the meat.
- Let the steak sit at room temperature for about an hour to bring it to room temperature.
- Fill the pellet hopper with your favourite wood pellets. We used a blend of mesquite and oak pellets from Broil King.
- Start up the pellet grill and smoker and set it to 225 ºF.
- Pinch a ball of paper towel with tongs, dip it in the grapeseed oil and brush the grill grates. Close the lid.
- Once the steak is at room temperature and the grill has reached 225 ºF, place the steak in the middle of the grill.
- Poke the meat probe into the side of the steak, towards the centre (into thickest part of the meat, without touching the bone).
- Close the lid and set the target temperature to 120 ºF. This should take about 70 minutes.
- If you’re using a Broil King pellet grill, make sure to connect your grill to wifi and to your smartphone app. Your app will notify you when the meat has reached the target temperature.
- Once the steak reaches an internal temperature of 120 ºF, remove it from the grill, place it on a baking sheet, tent with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Raise the temperature of the grill to 600 ºF.
- Once the grill is ready, brush the steak with the butter, place the steak on the grill and close the lid.
- After about two minutes, lift the lid, rotate the steak 90º, close the lid, and cook for another two minutes.
- Lift the lid and turn the steak over, close the lid and cook for two to three more minutes.
- Your meat probe should read about 135 ºF (around medium rare). Cook longer if needed.
- Place the steak on a large cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Slice the steak against the grain and serve with your favourite sides.
- Cooking times may vary.
- Make sure to check the internal temperature and adjust times when necessary.
- Resting the meat after grilling is key! You may be excited to start eating right after the meat comes off the grill, but don’t cut into it right away.